Friday, September 28, 2007

Can you guess

which person in this photo is my wife?

Go ahead. Take a good look.

Figured it out yet?

The lady in the red dress with the little girl on her lap?

Yep, that's right! That would by my wife Estela, the proud auntie of fourteen nieces and nephews from the Dominican Republic (and two more, not pictured here, from St. John's, Antigua).


Thursday, September 13, 2007

In Memory of Steven Biko

The following article is reprinted from today's e-newsletter from Haiti Reborn. Be sure to check out their website and learn about the great work that they're doing in Haiti.

"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." Steven Biko

Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of Steve Biko's death in a Pretoria, South Africa prison. He was only 31. Steve Biko was an amazing, inspiring leader who, as one of the founders and first president of the South African Student's Organization (SASO), helped mobilize thousands of students to opposition of apartheid. The quote from Biko is a reminder that when we confront the system of exploitation we live in, we must also confront the way we have internalized that system and even legitimated it with our consent and/or inaction.

Biko is often viewed as the leader who best articulated a vision of black consciousness. SASO was formed to insure that leadership in the movement was not dominated by white liberals who often blocked more radical or confrontational practices in the effort to end apartheid. Biko was formally banned by the South African apartheid government in 1973. He was required to stay in his home town, and was not allowed to speak in public to more than one person at a time. It became illegal even to quote him. He then began writing under the pseudonym Frank Talk. As Biko continued his activism, he was constantly harassed by the police and arrested on several occasions. He was last arrested in mid-August 1977. He was held for nearly three weeks, and clearly he was severely beaten during this time. He died while in police custody after being driven to Pretoria in the middle of the night.

His courage in the face of the cruelty of apartheid should inspire us all. He said: "You are either alive and proud or you are dead, and when you are dead, you can't care anyway."

You can check out a collection of some of his Frank Talk essays and other works in an edited volume called I Write What I Like, released in 1996.

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